Spotify benefits musicians, helping artists develop and maintain a fanbase

In Opinion

The way we consume our music is constantly changing. From records and cassette tapes, to CDs and iPods, the musical landscape grows as technology flourishes.

Sure, some may prefer putting on a record instead of listening to a downloaded album through headphones, but one cannot discredit the ever-evolving technology.

Streaming music is the latest addition to our musical consumption and Spotify successfully provides music to those who want to listen, while ultimately benefitting the artist.

The main argument against Spotify is that artists are getting paid too little for their music.

“When you knock it down to a per listen basis, Spotify pays a hell of a lot more” than radio and iTunes, though amount looks less because it’s incremental, according to Techdirt.com.

When analyzed per listen, Spotify pays out a significantly higher amount than the one-time, upfront iTunes download. These figures do not even include what artists make through concerts, merchandise and other ventures.

Taylor Swift recently decided to pull her music from Spotify, claiming that it devalues the work of featured artists. Despite Spotify’s presence in the music industry, Swift sold 1.28 million copies of her latest album “1989” in its first week, according to Billboard Magazine, revealing that consumers are continuing to purchase albums, but only from the largest stars in the world.

What about all the other lesser known musicians out there?

In response to Swift’s decision, Daniel Ek, Spotify’s chief executive, said in a blog post that Spotify’s “reason for existence is to help fans find music and help artists connect with fans through a platform that protects them from piracy and pays them for their amazing work. And they are doing a pretty good job at that.

Spotify undoubtedly helps artists through exposure and overall availability. With a large selection of music and artists, it’s simple for users to type in a song and instantly hear it without having to purchase the entire album or download the song illegally. Spotify’s homepage includes sections for new releases, top lists and even aggregates music based on moods like “party” or “workout.” It’s a great platform for consumers to find new music, making Spotify especially beneficial to upcoming artists without a large following.

CD and digital sales have dropped by about 20 percent in 2013, according to Nielsen’s 2014 year-end report, whereas streaming has increased by over 54 percent. This has inevitably benefitted musicians by creating a platform where listeners can browse and stream a band’s entire catalog without paying an exorbitant price. Spotify also pays artists per stream and some money is better than no money at all, especially in this tough industry.

The power of the Internet grows everyday and streaming music is the future. The sooner artists realize this, the smarter and more successful they’ll become.

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